Oh the horror, movies that is…

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In 1984, at the age of 8, I saw Wes Craven’s Nightmare on Elm Street.  I don’t know why my parents would have allowed their 8 year-old daughter to watch that movie, but it was then that my love of horror movies was born.  Since then I have consumed horror and thriller movies with a rabid ferocity.  I love the taut feelings of anticipation, suspense, disgust, and fear that they create.  I love sitting in a darkened room, in the theatre or in my living room, with a bowl of popcorn in my lap and starring wide eyed at the flickering screen.  I love everything about the horror genre!  So, when I was asked to list my top 10 horror movie picks of all time, I jumped at the chance.  Listed below, in no particular order, are my top 10 horror movies of all times.

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  1. Nosferatu (1922) – Starring the German born actor and actress, Max Schrek and Greta Schroder.  This silent, unauthorized adaptation of Bram Stoker’s, Dracula, shot in black and white is terrifying and surrounded with urban myths and legends about the curse that befell all those involved with the making of this movie.
  2. The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920) – This is another silent, black and white movie that scares me even today.  The director’s use of shadow, lighting, make-up, and disorienting camera angles is amazing and creates a sincere feeling of unsettling fear.
  3. The Exorcist (1973) – Do I even need to explain this one?  Linda Blair is a legend and for my money, is the best projectile vomiter EVER!
  4. Halloween (1978) – Jamie Lee Curtis in her cinematic debut as Laurie Strode does battle with the evil Michael Meyers and from this point of genesis, her acting career and the Halloween series grew.
  5. The Shining (1980) – Stanley Kubrick applied his genius to Stephen King’s third published writing.  Starring Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, and Danny Lloyd, this movie has seared the phrase, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”, into my brain forever.
  6. Psycho (1960) – Norman Bates puts the “mama’s boy” character on an entirely different echelon.  On top of that, it was directed by the legendary Alfred Hitchcock.  What else could you want?
  7. The Ring (2002) – Based on the original movie, Ring, by Koji Suzuki, this movie scares the stuffing out of me.  It combines my irrational fears of being trapped in a hole, deep water, and creepy little girls to make a masterfully suspenseful movie.
  8. It (1990) – Stephen King shows up on my list again here.  Pennywise the clown, played by Tim Curry, is the absolute epitome of the horror clown genre.  Bozo the clown with needle sharp teeth is the stuff of nightmares and bedwetting episodes.
  9. Strangers (2008) – I know, I know, Liv Tyler is not the best actress, but 3 creepy people wearing masks and taunting their stranded victims like a cat taunts a chipmunk before biting its head off, is painfully suspense building in the best of ways.
  10. Poltergeist (1982) – I was 12 years old when I saw this movie and the famous utterance made by Carol-Ann, “They’re Heeerrrrreee”, in a sing-song little girl voice still gives me chills.
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